Clayton Edward Kershaw is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. A left-handed starting pitcher, Kershaw has played in the major leagues since 2008, his career earned run average and walks and hits per innings pitched average are the lowest among starters in the live-ball era with a minimum of 1,000 innings pitched. Kershaw has a career hits allowed per nine innings pitched average of 6.61—the second-lowest in MLB history—along with three Cy Young Awards and the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He has been described throughout the majority of his career as the best pitcher in baseball. Kershaw was drafted seventh overall in the 2006 MLB draft, he worked his way through the Dodgers' farm system in just one full season, reached the majors at 20 years old. When he debuted in 2008, he was the youngest player in a title he held for one full year. In 2011, he won the pitching Triple Crown and the National League Cy Young Award, becoming the youngest pitcher to accomplish either of these feats since Dwight Gooden in 1985.
During the 2013 off-season, the Dodgers signed Kershaw to a franchise record seven-year, $215 million contract extension. Kershaw pitched a no-hitter on June 2014, becoming the 22nd Dodger to do so. Being a left-handed strikeout pitcher and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kershaw has been compared to Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, he became the first pitcher in history to lead MLB in ERA for four consecutive years when he did so in the 2011 through 2014 seasons. Off the field, Kershaw is an active participant in volunteer work, he and his wife, launched "Kershaw's Challenge" and wrote the book Arise to raise money to build an orphanage in Zambia. He has been honored with the Roberto Clemente Award and the Branch Rickey Award for his humanitarian work. Kershaw was born in Texas, his parents divorced when he was 10, he was raised by his mother. He played in youth sports leagues including Little League Baseball. Kershaw attended nearby Highland Park High School, where he played baseball and was the center for future Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on the varsity football team.
After a growth spurt and further development of his pitches, he established himself as an elite high school prospect in 2006 when he posted a 13–0 record with an earned run average of 0.77, recorded 139 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched. In a playoff game against Northwest High School of Justin, Kershaw pitched an all-strikeout perfect game, he struck out all 15 batters he faced in the game, shortened because of the mercy rule. He pitched for USA Baseball's Junior National Team in the Pan Am Championship. Kershaw was selected by USA Today as "High School Baseball Player of the Year", was the Gatorade National Player of the Year for baseball. Entering the 2006 Major League Baseball draft, Kershaw was considered the top high school pitcher available; the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Kershaw with the seventh overall pick in the draft. He had committed to Texas A&M University, but turned down the scholarship offer to sign with the Dodgers, with a signing bonus estimated at $2.3 million. The bonus was the largest to any Dodgers draft pick at the time, was topped by Zach Lee in the 2010 draft.
Kershaw began his career with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers. He pitched in 37 innings in which he struck out 54 batters, while compiling a record of 2–0 with a 1.95 ERA. He featured a fastball that topped out at 96 miles per hour and he was rated as the top prospect in the GCL, the Dodgers' second best prospect by Baseball America behind third baseman Andy LaRoche. Kershaw was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons in 2007, with whom he recorded a record of 7–5 with a 2.77 ERA. He was selected to play on the East Team in the Midwest League All-Star Game and on the USA team in the All-Star Futures Game. On August 6, he was promoted to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League, where he produced a 1–2 record and 3.65 ERA in five starts and was selected as the top prospect in the Dodgers organization heading into the 2008 season. During spring training in a game against the Boston Red Sox, Kershaw gained much attention for throwing a curveball to Sean Casey that started behind Casey but at the end looped into the strike zone and struck him out looking.
Kershaw was 0–3 and had a 2.28 ERA with 47 strikeouts through 431⁄3 innings pitched in his first stint of the year with the Suns. He was called up to the majors on May 28, 2008, but optioned back to Jacksonville on July 2. Kershaw pitched 18 innings during his second trip to Jacksonville. During this stretch, he allowed only two earned runs, lowering his ERA to 1.91. He was recalled on July 22. On May 24, 2008, the Dodgers bought Kershaw's minor-league contract, he was added to the active roster. Sportswriter Tony Jackson called Kershaw's debut the most anticipated start by a Dodgers pitcher since Hideo Nomo's major league debut during the 1995 season, he made his debut starting against the St. Louis Cardinals, he struck out the first batter he faced, Skip Schumaker, the first of seven strikeouts in the game, in which he pitched six innings and allowed two runs. When he debuted, Kershaw was the youngest player in a title he held for one full year. Kershaw won his first major league game against the Washington Nationals on July 27, 2008.
He pitched six-plus shutout innings, allowing four hits, a walk, he struck out five. Kershaw finished his rookie season 5–5, with a 4.26 ERA in 22 games. He pitched two innings out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in the 2008 National League C
Bradley Thomas Lidge is a former professional baseball relief pitcher. He pitched for Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. Lidge is a host on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio. Lidge threw a four-seam fastball that reached 95–97 miles per hour, as well as a hard, sharp breaking slider that ranged from 85 to 87 mph, he sealed the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship with the final out, a strikeout of Eric Hinske in Game 5. Lidge was born in Sacramento, California on December 23, 1976. At a young age, the Lidge family moved to Colorado. Growing up, Lidge was active, playing football and baseball among other sports. Lidge attended Cherry Creek High School. Lidge played outfield but became a pitcher because Cherry Creek's outfield was populated by such draft prospects as Donzell McDonald, he did not sign. Lidge attended the University of Notre Dame, where he played college baseball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team, he won the Big East Conference player of the year award during his junior season under coach Paul Mainieri, leading the conference with an 8–2 record and 93 strikeouts in 80 1⁄3 innings.
Lidge was a 1st round draft pick by the Houston Astros, taken 17th overall in the 1998 Major League Baseball draft. He missed parts of his first four professional seasons with injuries, including a torn rotator cuff and a broken forearm that threatened his career. Lidge would overcome these injuries, making his debut in the major leagues on April 26, 2002 against the Atlanta Braves, serving as a middle relief pitcher in the Astros' bullpen, he started the only game of his career in September of that year against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lidge went 2-for-2 with a double and 2 RBIs at the plate, but was pulled when he strained an intercostal muscle in his ribcage after pitching three scoreless innings with four strikeouts, two walks and a hit batsman. In 2003, Lidge was the winning pitcher in the Astros' historic six-pitcher tandem which no-hit the New York Yankees on June 11; that year, Lidge was voted Astros Rookie of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the BBWAA. Following the trades of Billy Wagner in the 2003 off-season and Octavio Dotel in the summer of 2004, the Astros moved Lidge from setup man to closer.
He set a new National League record for strikeouts by a reliever with 157, passing Goose Gossage's total of 151 set in 1977. The mark is third all-time for relievers, behind Dick Radatz's 181 in 1964, Mark Eichhorn's 166 in 1986. In the 2004 season, hitters swung and missed at Lidge's strikes 42% of the time. Baseball writer Joe Posnanski noted, "I have no doubt that Brad Lidge, that one year, was one of the most unhittable pitchers in the history of baseball." In his first All-Star Game appearance in 2005, Lidge pitched the bottom of the seventh, striking out all three batters he faced. He threw 11 pitches to Melvin Mora, Mike Sweeney, Garret Anderson, who did not make contact with any of Lidge's pitches. Lidge became the first pitcher to strike out the side in his first All-Star appearance since Bill Caudill and Dwight Gooden in 1984. In 2005, Lidge finished the season with a 2.29 ERA and a career-high 42 saves. That year, Lidge ranked third in the National League in saves and became the second Houston Astros pitcher to record at least 40 saves in one season alongside Billy Wagner.
During the 2005 NLCS, Lidge gave up a 3-run home run to Albert Pujols in Game 5 in Houston which forced a Game 6 back in St. Louis, which the Astros would win to clinch their first World Series berth in franchise history. Lidge gave up a walk off home run to Scott Podsednik in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series and the series winning run and hit in Game 4 to go 0-2 in the series and complete the White Sox sweep of the Astros. Lidge pitched for the United States national baseball team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, throwing two scoreless innings; that year, Lidge became the third pitcher in Astros history to record 100 saves with the club, after Wagner and Dave Smith, this led the Astros to sign Lidge to a one-year, $5.35 million contract that would keep him in Houston through the 2007 season. However, Lidge was demoted from the closer's role on April 9, 2007. Lidge would regain his role in mid-June as the closer after going 10+ scoreless innings and posting a 2.45 era. On July 17, 2007, Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Washington Nationals, striking out two and walking one, to earn his first save of the 2007 season.
Lidge finished the season. On November 7, 2007, Lidge was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies along with infielder Eric Bruntlett in exchange for outfielder Michael Bourn, pitcher Geoff Geary, Mike Costanzo. In February 2008, Lidge tore the meniscus in his right knee while pitching off the mound during Spring training. To exacerbate matters, this was the same knee. In the month, he had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair the torn meniscus; as a result, Lidge sat out until April 5 to start the season. During the early 2008 season, Lidge showed signs that he regained the dominant form he displayed in his earlier career. In the opening two months of the season, he converted 12 save opportunities and allowed just two earned runs. In May, Lidge returned to Minute Maid Park, where he was greeted by a mixed reaction from Astros fans, but he recorded his 12th save of the season against his former team, he opened the month of June the start of the summer's heavy-hi
In baseball, a cut fastball or cutter is a type of fastball that breaks toward the pitcher's glove-hand side, as it reaches home plate. This pitch is somewhere between a slider and a two-seam fastball, as it is thrown faster than a slider but with more motion than a typical fastball; some pitchers use a cutter to prevent hitters from expecting their regular fastballs. A common technique for throwing a cutter is to use a two-seam fastball grip with the baseball set off center in the hand. A batter hitting a cutter pitch achieves only soft contact and an easy out due to the pitch's movement keeping the ball away from the bat's sweet spot; the cutter is 2–5 mph slower than a pitcher's two-seam fastball. In 2010, the average pitch classified as a cutter by PITCHf/x thrown by a right-handed pitcher was 88.6 mph. The New York Yankees' former closer Mariano Rivera, one of the foremost practitioners of the cutter, made the pitch famous after the mid-1990s, though the pitch itself has been around since at least the 1950s.
When the cut fastball is pitched skillfully at speed against the opposite hand batter, the pitch can crack and split a hitter's bat, hence the pitch's occasional nickname of "the buzzsaw." Batter Ryan Klesko of the Atlanta Braves, broke three bats in a single plate appearance during the 1999 World Series while facing Mariano Rivera. To deal with this problem a few switch hitters batted right-handed against the right-handed Rivera—that is, on the "wrong" side, as switch hitters bat from the same side of the plate as the pitcher's glove hand. In 2011, Dan Haren led all major league starting pitchers with nearly 48% of his pitches classified by PITCHf/x as cutters. Roy Halladay was close behind at 45%. Other pitchers who rely on a cut fastball include Jon Lester, James Shields, Josh Tomlin, Mark Melancon, Jaime Garcia, Kenley Jansen, Wade Miley, David Robertson, Andy Pettitte; the cutter grew in popularity as certain pitchers, including Dan Haren, looked to compensate for loss of speed in their four-seam fastball.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones attributed the increased dominance of pitchers from 2010–2011 to a more prolific use of the cutter, as did Cleveland Indians pitcher Chris Perez. By 2011, it was being called the "pitch du jour" in the baseball press; some pushback has developed against the pitch, due to concerns that a pitcher overusing the cutter could develop arm fatigue. Baltimore Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette instructed prized prospect Dylan Bundy not to throw the pitch in the minor leagues, believing its use could make Bundy's fastball and curve less effective. Baseball portal
Joseph Chris Carter is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder and first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants. Carter is best known for hitting a walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays. Joe Carter attended Wichita State University, he was named The Sporting News magazine's College Player of the Year in 1981. In the 1981 MLB draft, the Chicago Cubs chose him with the second overall pick. Carter first reached the majors in 1983 with the Cubs, but was traded to the Cleveland Indians the following year, where he blossomed into a star. Carter emerged as a prolific power hitter, hitting as many as 35 home runs in a season and driving in 100 or more runs, he hit nearly as many doubles as he did homers, would get respectable numbers of triples in many years too. He was a good baserunner, stealing 20-30 bases a year with a high rate of success.
After a strong 1989 season, Carter was traded by Cleveland to the San Diego Padres for prospects Sandy Alomar, Jr. Carlos Baerga, Chris James. Although he continued to drive in runs, he continued to have defensive problems; the Padres subsequently dealt him to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Roberto Alomar in exchange for star players Fred McGriff and Tony Fernández. Carter's overall game improved in 1991, as he helped the Toronto Blue Jays win the division title and hit the game-winning single that clinched the AL East championship. In 1992, he helped the Jays win their first World Series championship, the first won by a Canadian-based team. Carter hit two home runs and recorded the final out of the Series, taking a throw to first base from reliever Mike Timlin to nab Otis Nixon of the Atlanta Braves, who bunted; this was the first time. Carter and Edwin Encarnación are the only two Blue Jays to hit two home runs in one inning, with Carter's coming against the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and Encarnacion's against the Houston Astros in 2013.
In 1993, the Blue Jays reached the World Series again. In Game 6, with the Blue Jays leading three games to two, Carter came to bat with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Blue Jays trailing 6–5 and Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor on base. On a 2–2 count, Carter hit a three-run walk-off home run off Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams to win the World Series, only the second time a Series has ended with a home run, the only time the home run has been hit by a player whose team was trailing in the bottom of the 9th inning in a potential championship clinching game. Upon hitting the home run, Carter jumped up and down many times, most notably while rounding first base, where his helmet came off. Tom Cheek, the Blue Jays' radio broadcaster, called the play: "Touch'em all, Joe! You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!" Carter continued to play for the Blue Jays until 1997, led the Blue Jays in home runs and RBIs in 1994 and 1995. When he represented the Blue Jays at the 1996 All-Star Game, he received boos for his home run that won the Blue Jays the 1993 World Series, as the game took place at Veterans Stadium the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
During the 1997 season, he snuck an unlicensed maple wood baseball bat manufactured by Sam Bat into a game. He became a free agent in 1998 and played for the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants before retiring. Carter ended his career by popping out to end the game in a one-game playoff against the Chicago Cubs. Carter was named to five All-Star teams. In his career he hit 396 home drove in 1445 runs, he drove in 100 runs in a season ten times, including the 1994 year, cut short due to the strike that occurred 115 games into the year. He was the first player to record 100 RBI for three different teams in three consecutive seasons. In 1993, while a Toronto Blue Jay, Carter set an American League record when he hit 3 home runs in a game for the fifth time in his career. Carter was involved in the final plays of four games in which the Blue Jays clinched a championship: 1) The game-winning single to drive home Roberto Alomar and clinch the 1991 American League East division championship, 2) catching the final out at first base in the 1992 World Series, 3) catching the final out on a fly ball to right field in the 1993 American League Championship Series, 4) the walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
From 1999 to 2000, Carter served as a color commentator for the Toronto Blue Jays on CTV Sportsnet, leaving to work for the Chicago Cubs. From 2001 to 2002, Carter served as the color commentator, alongside play-by-play man Chip Caray, for the Chicago Cubs on WGN-TV. Carter was replaced by Steve Stone. Carter became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, however, he only received 19 votes, representing 3.8% of the vote and was dropped from future ballots. Carter was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. In September 2006, Carter was awarded the Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes Award, as the former or current player who best represents the legacy of his franchise's history, as voted by fans. In 2008, Carter appeared on an episode of Pros vs. Joes. On August 7, 2009, alo
Steven Norman Carlton, nicknamed "Lefty", is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1965 to 1988 for six different teams in his career, but it is his time with the Philadelphia Phillies where he received his greatest acclaim as a professional and won four Cy Young Awards, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Carlton has the second-most lifetime strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher, the second-most lifetime wins of any left-handed pitcher, he was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards in a career. He held the lifetime strikeout record several times between 1982 and 1984, before his contemporary Nolan Ryan passed him. One of his most remarkable records was accounting for nearly half of his team's wins, when he won 27 games for the last-place 1972 Phillies, he is the last National League pitcher to win 25 or more games in one season, as well as the last pitcher from any team to throw more than 300 innings in a season. He holds the record with the most career balks of any pitcher, with 90.
Carlton was born and raised in Miami, where he played Little League and American Legion Baseball during his youth. He attended North Miami High School, Miami Dade College. In 1963, while a student at Miami-Dade, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for a $5,000 bonus. Carlton debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals as a 20-year-old in 1965 and by 1967 was a regular in the Cardinals rotation. An imposing man with a hard fastball and slider, Carlton was soon known as an intimidating and dominant pitcher. Carlton enjoyed immediate success in St. Louis, posting winning records and reaching the World Series in 1967 and 1968. On September 15, 1969, Carlton struck out 19 New York Mets, while losing to the Mets, 4–3, setting the modern-day record at that time for strikeouts in a nine-inning game; that season, he finished with a 17–11 record with a 2.17 ERA, second lowest in the NL, 210 strikeouts. A contract dispute with the Cardinals made Carlton a no-show at spring training in 1970, he proceeded leading the NL in losses.
In 1971, he became a 20-game winner for the first time, going 20–9 with a 3.56 ERA. Following a salary dispute, Cardinals owner Gussie Busch ordered, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1972 season for pitcher Rick Wise. The trade is now considered one of the most lopsided deals in baseball history. However, at the time, the trade appeared to make sense from the Cardinals' perspective. Carlton had won 77 games to Wise's 75, both were considered among the game's best pitchers. Tim McCarver, who had caught for Carlton in St. Louis and for Wise in Philadelphia, described the trade as "a real good one for a real good one." He felt Carlton had more raw talent. Although Wise stayed in the majors for another 11 years, the trade is reckoned as an epoch-making deal for the Phillies, as well as one of the worst trades in Cardinals history. In Carlton's first season with Philadelphia, he led the league in wins, complete games, ERA, despite playing for a team whose final record was 59–97.
His 1972 performance earned him his first Cy Young Award and the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year. His winning percentage of 46% of his team's victories that season is a record in modern major league history. Carlton attributed his success to his grueling training regimen, which included Eastern martial arts techniques, the most famous of, twisting his fist to the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket of rice; some highlights of Carlton's 1972 season included starting the season with 5 wins and 1 loss losing 5 games in a row, during which period the Phillies scored only 10 runs. At this point he began a 15-game winning streak. After it ended at a 20–6 record, he finished the final third of the year with 7 more wins and 4 losses, ending with 27 wins and 10 losses. Carlton completed 30 of 41 starts. During the 18 games of the winning streak, Carlton pitched 155 innings, allowed 103 hits and 28 runs, allowed 39 walks, had 140 strikeouts. From July 23, 1972 to August 13, 1972 he pitched five complete game victories, allowed only 1 unearned run while only giving up 22 hits in 45 innings, threw four shutouts.
He had a fastball, a legendary slider, a long looping curve ball. Baseball commentators during 1972 remarked that Carlton's slider was unhittable, while Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell once remarked, "Hitting Steve Carlton's slider is like trying to drink coffee with a fork", he was a good hitter for a pitcher. Carlton slumped in 1973; the media's questioning of his unusual training techniques led to an acrimonious relationship between them and Carlton. In 1976, upon the advice of his lawyer Edward L. Wolf, he decided to sever all ties with the media, refused to answer press questions for the rest of his career with the Phillies; when approached unbeknownst he was on live air in the early 1980s he hurled a sponsor’s watch at commentator’s head in the pregame show. This reached a point where, in 1981, while the Mexican rookie Fernando Valenzuela was achieving stardom with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a reporter remarked, "The two best pitchers in the National League don't speak English: Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Carlton."
Albert Walter "Sparky" Lyle is an American former left-handed relief pitcher who spent sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball from 1967 through 1982. He was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1977, he led the American League in saves in 1972 and 1976. With the Yankees, Lyle was a member of the World Series champions in 1977 and 1978, both over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lyle co-authored, with Peter Golenbock, The Bronx Zoo, a 1979 tell-all book which chronicled the dissension within the Yankees in its World Series Championship seasons of 1977 and 1978. From 1998–2012, Lyle served as manager of the Somerset Patriots, a minor league baseball team of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Lyle grew up in nearby Reynoldsville, his father was a carpenter and general contractor, his mother a seamstress at a coffin factory. He attended Reynoldsville High School where he played varsity basketball.
During the spring of his junior year, he began playing American Legion baseball for the DuBois team because neither his high school nor Reynoldsville fielded an organized baseball squad. He once struck out 31 batters while pitching 14 of 17 innings in a state tournament game for DuBois. At the time, his pitching repertoire consisted of a fastball and changeup, he was brought in for a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates alongside Bruce Dal Canton. The Pirates only signed the latter after seeing that the speed of Lyle's pitches was no match for Dal Canton's. Lyle did succeed in catching the attention of George Staller, a scout for the Baltimore Orioles at the time. Lyle signed with the ballclub as an amateur free agent on June 17, 1964, he spent the opening half of his first professional campaign in 1964 with the Bluefield Orioles. He appeared three out of the bullpen, it was the first time he was used as an idea which he suggested to manager Jim Frey. That season, he would earn a promotion to the Fox Cities Foxes, where he was used as a starting pitcher in six matches for the eventual Midwest League champions.
Lyle was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first-year draft on November 30, 1964. He progressed up the Red Sox farm system as a relief pitcher, with stops in Winston-Salem in 1965, Pittsfield in 1966 and Toronto in the first half of 1967, it was during his time at Pittsfield that he picked up the slider, a pitch, introduced to him by Ted Williams at spring training prior to that season. Lyle recalled, "He told me it was the best pitch in baseball because it was the only pitch he couldn't hit when he knew it was coming." The slider became the most successful pitch in his repertoire. He was called up to Boston after Dennis Bennett was sold to the New York Mets on June 24, 1967. Lyle pitched two scoreless innings to close out a 4–3 Red Sox loss to the California Angels in his major-league debut at Anaheim Stadium on July 4, he recorded his first career save twelve days on July 16 in Boston's 9–5 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. His first win in the majors came on July 27 in the Red Sox's ten-inning 6–5 triumph at home over the Angels.
He ended his rookie campaign with 27 mound appearances, a 1–2 record, five saves and a 2.28 earned run average. He was left off Boston's World Series roster due to a sore arm, he registered 64 saves during the next four years, serving as the team's closer from 1969 to 1971. During spring training prior to the 1972 season on March 22, Lyle was traded to the New York Yankees for Danny Cater and a player to be named later; the transaction proved to be one-sided as Lyle became the Yankees' bullpen ace, establishing himself as one of the best relief pitchers of the 1970s. He played a major role in the Yankees capturing three straight pennants from 1976 to 1978 and winning the World Series in the last two of those years. In 1972, he saved 35 games, an American League record at the time, a major league record for left-handers. In 1972, Lyle became the first southpaw to collect 100 saves in the American League, he finished 3rd in the 1972 MVP voting. He again led the league in saves in 1976, in 1977 became the first AL reliever to win the Cy Young Award.
He was named an American League All-Star in 1973, 1976 and 1977. In 1976, he broke Hoyt Wilhelm's American League record of 154 career saves, the following year eclipsed Perranoski's major league mark for left-handers of 179 career saves. Through 1977, Lyle had compiled 201 career saves, was within range of Wilhelm's career big-league record of 227. Lyle was associated with a trademark song to herald his entry into games and Circumstance March No. 1 in D. But despite the fact Lyle had won the 1977 Cy Young Award, the Yankees signed Goose Gossage as a free agent during the 1977 off-season, Gossage followed with an outstanding 1978 season which made Lyle expendable. During the 1978 season, Yankees teammate Graig Nettles quipped that Lyle went "from Cy Young to sayonara." On November 10, 1978, Lyle was part of a major trade that sent him, along with Mike Heath, Larry McCall, Dave Rajsich, Domingo Ramos and $400,000, to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Juan Beníquez, Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella, Dave Righetti, Greg Jemison.
In his late 30s, Lyle was unable to duplicate the great success he had enjoyed, saved only 21 games for the Rangers in 1979–80. Rollie Fingers moved ahead of Lyle in career saves